Is Google getting into NFC-based mobile payments in New York and San Francisco?

Google is neither confirming nor denying a Bloomberg report Tuesday that the search giant plans to soon start testing a mobile-payment service at stores in New York and San Francisco .

The Bloomberg report, citing anonymous sources, says Google will pay for installation of special cash registers from VeriFone Systems that would be required for the mobile-payment service described as accepting payments from mobile phones supported technology called near-field communication (NFC).

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Google spokesman Nate Tyler did say that Google, which has a payment service known as Google Checkout, does have interest in NFC technology for use with smartphones, pointing out that NFC is supported in the Samsung Nexus S phone.

He added that Google recently began an NFC project in Portland, Ore., in which merchants have begun to make use of NFC “tags” for simple informational purposes that could be used with NFC-supporting smartphones. But that did not include mobile payments.

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